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LANSING, Michigan, February 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Michigan Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer may have vowed to ban pro-life legislation if it crosses her desk, but pro-life activists in the state have devised a plan they hope will ban the grisly “dismemberment abortion” procedure without her approval.

The Hillsdale Collegian reported that the Dismemberment Abortion Ban Act would amend the state’s 2011 ban on partial-birth abortions with additional language prohibiting the dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortion procedure, more commonly known as dismemberment abortions because they function by tearing a preborn baby apart limb by limb. 

The bill contains an exception for removing the remains of babies that have already died, or for saving a mother’s life. Abortionists who use the technique in any other situation would be subject to up to two years in prison and a fine of as much as $50,000.

Republicans currently control both chambers of the Michigan Legislature, but Whitmer has already pledged to veto it. So state pro-lifers are pursuing a process by which the voters can initiate legislation themselves. If supporters collect signatures equivalent to at least 8 percent of the vote from the latest gubernatorial election, the bill could then be enacted by either a statewide ballot referendum or a vote in the legislature. If successful, the bill would not need the governor’s signature.

“This is our fifth citizens-initiated piece of legislation,” said Right to Life of Michigan executive director Genevieve Marnon. “We have always gone through the regular legislative routes first. In this particular case, we did not get the veto, but we got the votes in both chambers, so we know we have the votes.”

In the past, state pro-lifers have successfully used the process to ban partial-birth abortion and keep insurance plans from funding abortion.

Michigan Radio reported that Right to Life of Michigan successfully gathered more than 380,000 signatures, which are currently being reviewed by the state Bureau of Elections. Should the ban win passage and become law, the abortion lobby is expected to file a lawsuit to block it from taking effect.

Abortion activists have long complained about the “dismemberment” label despite it accurately reflecting the description in the National Abortion Federation’s own instructional materials, and claim dismemberment abortions are the safest second-trimester procedure available (for the mother). Pro-lifers contend that abortionists actually prefer D&Es because they can fit more into their schedule, and therefore make more money.

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